Over reliance on MoT creating safety risk

Haulage operators have been accused of ignoring road safety and posing “an immense risk” to the public after data revealed the roadworthiness prohibition rate soared just three months after an MoT.

The DVSA said its analysis of a large sample of commercial vehicle encounters showed that 10 times more prohibitions are issued three months after an annual test.

Its examiners encountered a 25 percentage point increase in prohibitions compared with the first month after the annual test.

The data showed that during the first month, its examiners identified 213 roadworthiness defects in lorries. However, by the third month, this figure had increased to 2,161 defects.

The enforcement agency said the findings indicated an over reliance among operators on the MoT to pick up on maintenance issues and failures with maintenance inspections.

It said the prohibitions being picked up included illegal tyres that are worn and cut; and defective suspension, steering and brakes.

Other issues identified included faulty indicators and brake lights.

The DVSA said more than 60% of HGV prohibition defects should have been identified and reported by the driver had they carried out thorough walk-round checks, or if the checks done by them had been acted on by the company.

Neil Barlow, DVSA head of vehicle policy and engineering, said: “Heavy vehicles travelling at speed pose an immense risk to road users if not properly maintained. I am calling on all operators to make sure regular maintenance is being carried out to avoid any potential disruption or dangerous incidents.”

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